john_h_holliday: (Prescott photo)
( Jul. 20th, 2008 10:47 pm)
During the war, John had always hoped to somehow acquire some store-bought soap for Mattie. But he was never able to do so, intentions aside. There was just not enough money for luxuries. Not when a penny package of needles had come to cost seventy five dollars. So they made lye soap. They had rendered pig fat and when the lard had been taken from it, run water through woodstove and fireplace ashes to syphon off to make lye. These were stirred together in a wooden tub until the paddle would hold vertical. Then it was poured, thick sludge into wooden forms for bars. But lye was caustic and it made their skin ruddy and shiny - tight, smooth and inclined to crack and itch. They used it for everything - to clean the stove, their laundry. They used it in the bath.

And to wash their hair.
cut for length )

Name: John H. Holliday, DDS.
Fandom: History.
Word Count: 639
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